Two Fulbright College Doctoral Students Receive Dissertation Research Awards

Dissertation Research Award recipients Mahsa Lotfi-Marchoubeh and Megan Vallowe.
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Dissertation Research Award recipients Mahsa Lotfi-Marchoubeh and Megan Vallowe.

Each year, two of the brightest up-and-coming scholars within the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences are selected to receive the college's Dissertation Research Awards. The 2017 recipients of the $5,000 grants are Mahsa Lotfi-Marchoubeh from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Megan Vallowe from the Department of English.

The award is intended to help each recipient fund travel to research libraries, or an equivalent, within the United States or foreign countries.

Lotfi-Marchoubeh's dissertation, "Training in Protocols and Instrumentation for In Vivo Animal Studies of Neurotransmitters: Steps Toward Making and Validating a Microprobe," focuses on her research to make probes small enough to be inserted into a rat's brain to measure specific neurotransmitters that are structurally similar, and for the first time to differentiate them in vivo and in real time.

She plans to use her award to travel to the University of Pittsburgh to collaborate with professor Adrian Michael, to gain experience with a different kind of electrical probe for benchmark performance comparisons.

"I'll be able to see the ground-breaking brain studies they perform and also test my probes," Lotfi-Marchoubeh said. "This will be a great opportunity for bringing new knowledge, technique and methodology into the chemistry and biochemistry department as well. Ultimately, my project will help in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders such as depression and schizophrenia and this award will help tremendously in furthering my progress."  

Vallowe's dissertation, "Indigenous Utterances: Space, Nation, and the Media," considers how settler-states, indigenous nations and activist groups construct and manipulate the space of the Western Hemisphere.

She plans to use her award to travel to the Library of Congress to examine U.S. government documents in relation to official Civilization policy from the nineteenth century, and to the Newberry Library in Chicago to work with collections associated with the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies. 

"Not only will the dissertation award allow me to make a follow-up trip to complete research I started this past summer, but through this award, I will also get to work with the Newberry's Edward E. Ayer Collection, which is one of the world's foremost collections on Indigenous peoples of the Americas," Vallowe said.


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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